Facts about women's rights

Facts about women's rights


Women and girls face violence, discrimination and injustice every day of their lives. These statistics evidence the struggle women across the globe face. You can share these facts to help us raise awareness of the challenges facing women.

Violence against women and girls

From domestic violence to traditional harmful social practices and sexual exploitation, violence against women and girls happens all over the world

  • 1 in 3 women around the world experience violence (source. World Health Organization).
  • 58% of all women murdered in 2017 were killed by an intimate partner or a family member (source. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2018).
  • Around 650 million women across the globe were married before the age of 18 (source. Unicef, 2018).
  • Over 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone female genital mutilation (source. Unicef, 2016).
  • 71% of all human trafficking involves women and girls – mainly for sexual exploitation (source. UNODC, 2016).
  • Women and girls suffer the most during violent conflict due to inequality and discrimination. They are more at risk of sexual violence, exploitation and trafficking during war. 1 in 5 female refugees and internally displaced people (someone who is forced to leave their home but remains in their country) have experienced sexual violence in countries affected by conflict (source. OCHA, 2016).

Women’s economic rights

Women don’t have the same economic rights as men. Unpaid care work, lack of fair pay and job security, poor working conditions, and limited opportunity to own land and inherit property are all undermining women’s rights. Women can’t earn a living and take control of their lives.

  • Women spend at least twice as much time as men on domestic work, and when all work – (paid and unpaid) – is considered, women work longer hours than men (source. The World’s Women, 2015).
  • Over 2.7 billion women don’t have the same work opportunities as men, with laws restricting the types of jobs they can do (source. World Bank, 2018).
  • Less than 15% of landholders worldwide are women, despite most women in the global south working in agriculture (source. Food and Agriculture Organization, 2015; World Bank, 2019).
  • In 2018, the estimated global gender pay gap was 22%, with women earning around 78% of what men are paid (source. ILO, 2018).
  • Nearly 82 million women around the world don’t have any legal protection against discrimination in the workplace (source. World Policy Analysis Centre, 2017).

Women’s participation and leadership

Discrimination, violence and inequality stop women from speaking up about the decisions affecting their lives.

  • Women make up just 25% of parliamentarians worldwide (source. Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2019).
  • In January 2019, there were 11 women serving as Head of State and 10 as Head of Government (source. UN Women, 2019).
  • In January 2019, 1 in 5 government ministers around the world were women (source. Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2019).
  • Between 1990 and 2019 women made up 2% of mediators, 5% of witnesses and signatories, and 8% of negotiators in major peace processes worldwide (source. Council of Foreign Relations, 2019).
  • When women are involved in negotiations the probability of a peace agreement lasting at least two years is increased by 20 per cent, and 15 years by 35 per cent (source. Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, and Securing the Peace: A Global Study on Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, 2015).

Funding for women’s rights organisations

History has shown that women’s rights organisations and movements are a vital catalyst for gender equality and the realisation of women’s rights. From grassroots organising to advocacy and campaigning, women’s rights organisations are uniquely placed to mobilise and empower women to come together to know and claim their rights. Women’s rights organisation have the knowledge and legitimacy to represent women’s concerns and priorities. Their very existence affirms women’s leadership and participation.

Yet many women’s rights organisations around the world are chronically underfunded. They urgently need flexible, long term and core funding that meet their vision of achieving a gender equal world.

  • Only 1% of aid supporting gender equality went to women’s rights organisations in 2016-2017, despite governments around the world committing an extra $1bn to gender equality initiatives globally (sources. Guardian, 2019, OECD, 2019).

Source: https://www.womankind.org.uk/womens-rights-facts/